Best Books of 2009The Age of WonderRemarkable CreaturesComplexitySave the DeliThe Strangest ManEvery Patient Tells a StoryThe Mathematical MechanicTruth, Lies, and O-RingsDissectionThe Monty Hall Problem

Best Books of 2009

Top 10 Books: Science

Welcome to our Best of 2009 top 10 lists for Science. We've put our editors' picks and our 2009 bestsellers for each category on the same page together, so you can easily compare. Click on "Editors' Picks" to see our editors' list of the best science books of 2009, including our top pick, The Age of Wonder, Richard Holmes's delightfully masterful group biography of the adventurous scientists of Britain's Romantic age. And click on "Customer Favorites" to find the bestselling science books at Amazon.com during 2009. (Ranked according to customer orders through October. Only books published for the first time in 2009 are eligible.) See more editors' picks and customers' favorites in our Best of 2009 Store.


Editors' Picks | Customer Favorites
1. The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science
The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science
by Richard Holmes
4.4 out of 5 stars (119 customer reviews)
In Stock
Pantheon
July 14, 2009
Hardcover

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List Price:$40.00
Price:$27.29
You Save:$12.71 (32%)

Amazon.com Review
Amazon Exclusive: Oliver Sacks on The Age of Wonder Oliver Sacks is the author of Musicophilia, Awakenings,The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and many other books, for which he has received numerous awards, including the Hawthornden Prize, a Polk Award, and a Guggenheim ... Read more

2. Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origin of Species
Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origin of Species
by Sean B. Carroll
4.5 out of 5 stars (57 customer reviews)
Currently unavailable
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
February 10, 2009
Hardcover

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From Publishers Weekly
It's unclear whether the title refers to the daring naturalist/explorers Carroll depicts or the creatures whose remains they found. In this thoroughly enjoyable book, Carroll (... Read more

3. Complexity: A Guided Tour
Complexity: A Guided Tour
by Melanie Mitchell
4.1 out of 5 stars (86 customer reviews)
In Stock
Oxford University Press
April 1, 2009
Hardcover

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List Price:$35.00
Price:$25.95
You Save:$9.05 (26%)

From Booklist
“All theoretical models are wrong, but some are useful.” Both inevitable error and promising usefulness abound in the bold conceptual models that Mitchell surveys in exploring the nascent science of complexity. Readers will marvel at the sheer range of settings in which complex systems operate: from ant hills to ... Read more

4. Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist's Journey Into Seeing in Three Dimensions
Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist's Journey Into Seeing in Three Dimensions
by Susan R. Barry
4.7 out of 5 stars (67 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Basic Books
May 26, 2009
Hardcover

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From Publishers Weekly
Barry, a neuroscientist at Mount Holyoke College, was born with her eyes crossed and literally couldn't see in all three dimensions. Barry underwent several surgeries as a child, but it wasn't until she was in college that she realized she wasn't seeing in... Read more

5. The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom
The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom
by Graham Farmelo
4.5 out of 5 stars (100 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Basic Books
August 25, 2009
Hardcover

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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Paul Dirac (1902–1984) shared the Nobel Prize for physics with Erwin Schrödinger in 1933, but whereas physicists regard Dirac as one of the giants of the 20th century, he isn't as well known outside the profession. This may be due to the lack of humorous quips attributed ... Read more

6. Every Patient Tells a Story
Every Patient Tells a Story
by Lisa Sanders
4.4 out of 5 stars (120 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Harmony
August 11, 2009
Hardcover

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From Publishers Weekly
In her first book, internist and New York Times columnist Sanders discusses how doctors deal with diagnostic dilemmas. Unlike Berton Roueché in his books of medical puzzles, Sanders not only collects difficult cases, she reflects on what each means for both patient and struggling physician. A man arrives at ... Read more

7. The Mathematical Mechanic: Using Physical Reasoning to Solve Problems
The Mathematical Mechanic: Using Physical Reasoning to Solve Problems
by Mark Levi
3.7 out of 5 stars (14 customer reviews)
Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Princeton University Press
July 26, 2009
Hardcover

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List Price:$19.95
Price:$14.70
You Save:$5.25 (26%)

Review
One of Amazon.com science editors' Top 10 list for Science, Best for 2009One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2009"The Mathematical Mechanic documents novel ways of viewing physics as a method of understanding mathematics. Levi uses physical arguments as tools to conjecture about mathematical concepts before providing rigorous proofs. ... Read more

8. Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
by James R. Hansen
4.7 out of 5 stars (49 customer reviews)
In Stock
University Press of Florida
April 26, 2009
Hardcover

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List Price:$39.95
Price:$30.31
You Save:$9.64 (24%)

Review
"We all watched in shock and disbelief when Challenger was lost. Probably no one felt more disappointment and regret than Allan McDonald, who had warned us not to launch that day. His story tells of loss, grief, and the eventual rebuilding and recovery." -... Read more

9. Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine 1880-1930
Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine 1880-1930
by John Harley Warner
4.3 out of 5 stars (21 customer reviews)
In Stock
Blast Books
May 19, 2009
Hardcover

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List Price:$50.00
Price:$33.49
You Save:$16.51 (33%)

From Publishers Weekly
This is a startling window into the education of American doctors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries-on both a visceral level and for its revealing cultural record. Cringe-worthy shots of medical students-bare-handed gentlemen and a few ladies in st... Read more

10. The Monty Hall Problem: The Remarkable Story of Math's Most Contentious Brain Teaser
The Monty Hall Problem: The Remarkable Story of Math's Most Contentious Brain Teaser
by Jason Rosenhouse
4.2 out of 5 stars (15 customer reviews)
In Stock
Oxford University Press
June 4, 2009
Hardcover

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List Price:$26.95
Price:$20.96
You Save:$5.99 (22%)

Review
"Excellent survey...If one wants to see "The Full Monty," this is definitely the book to buy. Highly recommended." -- Choice"Those intrigued by the original Monty Hall problem will find that this book is a superb source of variants of the problem, pays careful attention to the hidden assumptions behind ... Read more